November 2009 Archives

Fuck Cancer


Fuck Cancer Bracelets

A coworker and I were talking about how there needed to be some plastic wristbands that express how we really feel about cancer and how terrible it is. Not being one to just wish things would happen, Fuzzy and I set out to create them. We ordered them in a number of different colors and gave them out to friends and relatives whose lives have been affected by cancer as well. They've been very well received. (We have a few extras if you would like one, as well.)

If you are looking for something a little more elegant, there are also lovely engraved fuck cancer bracelets.

As we enter a rough week for my family, I ask that everyone please be conscious of their health. Keep a good healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly. Obviously, cancer can hit even the healthiest person, so early detection is key--please get regular screenings and go to the doctor at the first sign of something abnormal.

Fuck you, cancer.

Happy Day, Turkeys

Holidays are always bittersweet, and this year is no exception. We've had some tears, but also some laughs. We think about how life changes, accept who we are and what God has given us, think about our loved ones we've lost but also had the honor of knowing, and we navigate the additional gifts and disappointments that life throws at us. It is hard, but also beautiful, and we are all in it together--we all just have to do the best we can.

We are heading off to Texas this afternoon for a few days to visit Fuzzy's family. I am looking forward to warmer weather and BBQ sausage.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Be good to yourselves this weekend.

I love Fuzzy

Because he did this for me:

Parker and puppy

Parker and Cloudgate

John Hodgman and Parker
Original photo by Sylvia Drake

Parker and Obama
Original photo by David Katz/Obama for America

Parker and the United Gas Improvement company of Philadelphia baseball team

Parker and the Brazil Building, World's Columbian Exposition.

I can't stop laughing. This makes my day!

Thanks to the Giving to the Thanks

A few years ago, November 11, 2003, to be exact, my parents drove up to Chicago to give me and my friends and Southern Pre-Thanksgiving. They loaded up a cooler in their car with okra, Kraft garlic cheese, and other things that aren't as readily available up North and drove into town. I wish I remembered everything we ate--I know there was garlic cheese grits (my Dad's specialty), okra and tomatoes, butterbeans, apple spice cake, maybe there was turkey or ham? (if you were there, do you remember what else we had? Mom, do you?) We drank a lot of whiskey and had mulled wine and apple cider, and I remember Dad not wanting cider right away, but by the end of the night asking for a cup. He took a drink and said "ooh, this is spicey" and I realized that I had had the burner on it the whole night so basically he was drinking enough spices for a pot of cider, but with only one cup of liquid that had been cooking all night. I felt bad for that.

My plan for this week is to scan these photos in and post them here. But until then, here are 3 photos from that visit that I posted last year, cause they feature me and Dad. Stay tuned for the others.

Pre-event. We got pumpkins and haystacks cause they were cheesy. Rine-Stone terroized Tabitha with them, and it was hilarious.


This was after much whiskey had been consumed. For those of you in "the know," you'll notice that I am wearing the special slip. She must have come out for an impromptu performance.

Thanksgiving 2007

reid family - november 2007 -3
Memaw Reid, Christopher, me, Susan (on floor), Dad, Katie, Fuzzy, Mom

Thanksgiving memories!

Random Notes


1. We just watched Twilight, aaaaaaaand I loved it. Now I'm ready for some hot werewolf action.

2. My favorite part of this week's ANTM finale was when, during her Cover Girl photo shoot, Laura said she was thinking about 'little baby cats.' I think of them too, Laura, and I'm sorry you didn't win.

3. Regarding the Project Runway finale: really judges? I completely disagree.

4. I think I finally have the proper amount of sweaters to get through a Chicago winter. Thanks, Target gift cards and Chase Leisure Rewards!

5. I bought a new pair of jazz shoes today, for the first time in about 13 or so years--shoes that fit! that aren't from high school! I am happy about this. It reminded me of how exciting it always was to go to Fredericks to get fitted for pointe shoes, before I started ordering the fancy shoes online. Yeah, it's cheaper online, but there's nothing like trying on a pair, doing a releve' and saying, 'yeah, I'll take them.'

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Life. Death.

We're coming up on year two of losing Dad, so as always, I'm going to be writing about it here when I need to.

Two years. Un-effing-real.

Last night, I read the editoral that Charlie Mitchell wrote for Dad, and it ripped my heart out, but it was really good to read. If you want to read it again, it is here.

I wish I could call him and talk to him. I wish I could give him a big old hug and kiss. I wish I could do our nighttime ritual. I wish I could beat him at thumbwrestling. I wish I could see his face and hear his laugh.

I am sad that there are no new photos of Dad and me. All those photos have already been taken.

I can't wrap my mind around what he must have been feeling this time two years ago. Our brains are only capable of handling so much--we can't comprehend infinity or eternity, so how can a human process that they are about to die? I know that it kept slipping his mind--whenever it came up he was always surprised. But gosh, how do you handle that? On Thanksgiving, we had so many visitors, loved ones and friends and relatives all came pouring into the house to see him, and Dad was on cloud nine. He grinned his big grin and at the end of the day said it was the best Thanksgiving he could remember. What a blessing that he was able to have that.

As something like this should, it makes you rethink everything. What is important? What are we all doing? What are we supposed to do? Why do we worry about material possessions and our personal wealth when really, what does that matter anyway? Life experiences, memories, love, friendships--that's what matters. It just makes me want to get rid of anything extra that I don't need. Pare down to just a few essentials and momentos. Pay off my debt and see the world.

It all just boggles my weary little head when I think about it. I know he had a great life, I know he had amazing friends, I know he was proud of his children, I know he experienced true love, I know he accepted his disease, I know he questioned his disease. I don't know what he thought about his life or about dying. I don't know how he was able to accept his fate. I don't know the physical and emotional pain he was in. I know he is in a better place now, and I know that I will continue to talk to him in my head and in my dreams.

I miss the shit out of him.

reidfamily-easter, christopher, david, erica

reidfamily-christopher, tricia, erica, david

(These are both Easter photos, but its a holiday nonetheless, and I love them.)


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This weekend I had a perfect weekend.

It was amazing. Perfect.

As we begin the holiday season, I've been doing a lot of thinking about happiness and life and where i am in my life this year as compared to the last several years. Five and four years ago, we were navigating what life was like fighting cancer. Three years ago was my first Thanksgiving as a married woman. Two years ago, we were saying goodbye to Dad. Last year, I had absolutely zero hope for anything good, and the only thing I felt was sadness.

Amazing how time and experiences change things, isn't it?

The difference between this year and last year is staggering. As I walked through the streets in my beautiful neighborhood this weekend, enjoying the beautiful warm fall, crunching through the leaves, looking into people's windows, petting cats on the street, and listening to the sounds of my community, I couldn't stop smiling about how happy I am. For the first time in what seems like a lifetime--and it honestly might even be for the first time in my lifetime--I feel like I am where I need to be. I am able to actually be myself, Erica Noelle Reid Gerdes, and I love that. I'm not fighting and struggling and working for or against something anymore. I am madly in love (like movie romance in love,) I love what I am doing creatively, I enjoy my job and love my work environment, I have amazing friends that inspire me and make me laugh and feel like I'm special, and my family is surprisingly well (I am more than happy to report that my mom is doing better and is slowly also becoming herself again.) I also love my down time and the time spent with others, and I know how to listen to my body and nourish my soul when I need to. I am also smart enough to know that any of this could end at any moment, so I am enjoying the moments as they come. And it feels great.

I thank God daily for the blessings He has given me, as well as the ability to love and to have hope and faith again.

Walking home from dinner at a neighborhood restaurant on Saturday night, I was by myself and marveling at the beauty in life, when a man exiting an apartment building told me that I had dropped something on the sidewalk. I stopped and saw that I was still carrying my hat, I looked at my purse, and turned to him and looked at the sidewalk and asked him what he had said that I dropped.

He replied, "Your smile."

I laughed all the way home.

More Comparisons


Today I was told that with my hair the color that it is, I look like Strawberry Shortcake.

The question is:

Old Strawberry Shortcake?

Or New Strawberry Shortcake?

You be the judge.

Hi! A lot of you have been finding this site while doing a search for Strawberry Shortcake! Welcome!
What is really funny to me is that I put up that goobery photo of me to make my friends laugh and now everyone is seeing it. So to save face, here is a more flattering photo of me when I had the red hair (alas, it is no more...)

New hair!

Has anyone ever noticed how cherry Chloraseptic tastes like how Strawberry Shortcake Dolls used to smell? Neat!

Some Random Thoughts on a Wednesday Night


1. I've been having some funky kidney/ sick problems this week and I am so sick of it! Being sick or in pain makes me feel like such an idiot. If it keeps bugging, I'll eventually call a doctor. It just is annoying.

2. I think for the first time EVER, the top 2 girls on America's Next Top Model are my top 2 picks from the very beginning. So whoever wins next week, I will be happy!

3. I love Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA." Love it. Makes me want to dance, so I do.

4. I get jealous of girls in music videos who wear cutoff shorts. I miss wearing cuttoffs. Now, I know my 30 year old ass and thighs don't need to be squeezing into cuttoffs, but damn, I miss the South sometimes. Why does Chicago have to be cold 9 months out of the year? And now I am signing a lease for my apartment through July 2011, so you know I'm not moving any time soon. Maybe I need to vacation more in warm climates. Or crank up the heat in the house.

5. When I see things about tropical vacations, I ache in my heart and gut. One day we'll get there. Yes. Just gotta get out of debt.

6. Whatever, Martha is hilarious. I just watched it for the first time tonight, and I loved it.

7. Are y'all proud of me that I'm not watching this season of "The City"? I am.

Separated at Birth?

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Erica JZ.jpg

I just need to get this out there...


Last week, in perhaps the first and last time this will ever happen in my life, my therapist sort of compared me to Jay-Z.

Yeah. It's like that.

Tonight I saw a video on MTV Hits for Kid Rock's song, Jackson, Mississippi. When it came on, I got excited--I had surprisingly never heard it before. The video cuts between live concert footage and clips of him and his band on a barge on the MS River.


Then the chorus started:
And I feel like Jackson, Mississippi
A river runnin
Like Jackson, Mississippi
A river runnin
Like Jackson, Mississippi
A river runnin thru my veins

Oh, Kid Rock. Did no one have the heart to tell you that the River doesn't flow through Jackson? Cause you could have easily picked another location. I mean, You can feel like Natchez, Mississippi or even Vicksburg Mississippi, sure. But Jackson? That's just embarrassing.

Let's look at that photo again.


Here is Parker.
parker bulldog.jpg

Here is where most cats end:
parker end.JPG

Let's see what she would look like if she were skinny, shall we?

skinny parker

Cute! But....I can't say I really like that. Let's reset.

parker bulldog.jpg

That's more like it. But still...something's missing. What is it?

Oh! I know.





What is that lurking at the end of the hall?

Do you see it?

parker bulldog hallway.jpg

Is it a gatekeeper?

The guardian to another portal?

parker bulldog.jpg

No, no, it's just a Parker Bulldog.

Serious Cute

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serious cute.jpg

Look at this adorable couple. I am so blessed.

We got Parker a Snuggie(tm)


Everyone knows about Snuggies(tm), right?

Yeah, if you don't have one, you want one.

Well, Parker recently got one.

Parker in a "Snuggie(tm) for Dogs"

She loooooooves it. Purrs like a baby and sleeps in it for hours.

Parker loves her Snuggie